Preventing hot car deaths

Cars parked outside on a hot day. (WTHR Photo)
Preventing Hot Car Deaths
Preventing hot car deaths

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) – There are still a lot of questions about how an Indiana father could forget his son in the back seat of a hot car for much of the day.

Three-year-old Oliver Dill ended up dying in the heat. Temperatures outside were in the mid 90s.

While it's uncertain where the car was parked, shows temperatures inside a car in direct sunlight, in that kind of heat can reach between 130 to 172 degrees.

Jennifer Harris, a mother of three, trying to cool her kids off at a local splash park said what happened in Evansville was horrible.

Referring to the father she said, "You never know what he had on his mind, what was going on in his personal life or any of that so I wouldn't judge him."

The Evansville dad forgot to drop his son off at daycare. When he returned to pick him up, his son was still in the car seat.

Rev. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes, pastor of Robert Parks United Methodist Church, said hearing the news was heartbreaking.

He said the church, which runs Shalom Daycare, does everything it can to make sure children are safe.

One policy they have is if a child who comes in at the same time every day is a no-show, they call the parents.

Scanlan-Holmes says they ask, "Is the child alright? Is there a problem? If we have not had any notification of the child's absence, we will follow up on that."

He said parents should feel free to ask their daycare to do likewise, if they don't already.

The Hot Cars Act would require that all new vehicles come with a special warning system. Some automakers already make those standard features, including GMC.

Burke Riedman, a delivery specialist at the Ray Skillman Auto Center showed Eyewitness News how the system works.

"You open a back door, get the kids in, get the dogs in, the groceries and that activates the "Rear-Seat Reminder," he said.

And once you reach your destination and turn the vehicle off, you hear three beeps followed by a flashing message on the dash, reminding you to look in the rear seat.

Other options include stand-alone seat-alarms and apps that send constant alerts to check the back seat.

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